Renoire painting

by Dr. Lori Verderame

A strong exhibition record or a history of the work’s inclusion in exhibitions is of value. If you exhibit your art or art collection, you will help to increase its value.

How do I increase the value of a work of art?

Exhibit it. In addition to the other information about a work of art, exhibition credentials are important when assessing the value of a work, too. Exhibition frequency, awards, and exhibition design placement remains pertinent when assessing art value. If you find that you are purchasing works of art by an artist who does not show work with much frequency, be careful. Good artwork is shown in exhibitions.

It is true that works of art increase in value each time that they are exhibited. This is one of the reasons why major collectors are interested in lending their works to exhibitions and making strong relationships with museums and galleries. If a work is discussed or reproduced within a publication (catalogue, poster, postcard, book, or brochure), the work’s value increases even more.

The artist whose works you are buying should be showing work not only in shows hosted by their art dealer or representative but also in regional art shows, juried art exhibitions, college and university galleries, community art museums, etc. There are many artist organizations that host exhibitions and feature the work of fine artists. Don’t let anyone tell you that there are no good shows in which to exhibit art work.

Every artist knows that an exhibition record is paramount to success. Any dealer should be able to provide a collector with a complete listing of an artist’s exhibition record. Many dealers include this type of investment information with your purchase as a rule of thumb. Any respectable art dealer, and there are respectable ones, should be able to give you this exhibition information proudly and with ease.

Other factors that impact value

Be cognizant of where an artist shows his or her work. Many collectors are unaware that an artist who shows repeatedly at the same gallery (like at his dealer’s gallery) is probably not showing work in other venues.  Showing art in a broad range of venues with various audience profiles is important when assessing value. Consider that if you don’t see a particular artist showing his or her work in at least a few venues.

As they say in real estate, it’s location, location, location. Same goes for the art world. Artists showing their work in exhibitions in major cities, major museums and galleries, or art centers offer great value to collectors.

Exhibit in Museums

Exhibiting your work or works from your collection helps to increase awareness of the work, attract scholarly interest in the work, and enhance its art historical and monetary or resale value. Museums, both public and private, government buildings, libraries, art centers and cosmopolitan areas are good art exhibition locations.

Also, an artist whose work is consistent, producing good work after good work, helps to increase the value of all of his or her work. It means that the art is usually a sound investment. Artists dedicated to an established and mature style help to increase the value of their work, too.

For example, it is financially advantageous to own a Renoir that was painted while he was working with Monet at the artist colony of Argenteuil. For Renoir, the paintings produced during the height of Impressionism from the period of circa 1870 to 1875 (when he was painting with alongside Monet at Argenteuil) are more valuable than works from the 1890s or early 1900s when Post Impressionism and the paintings of Gauguin and Van Gogh and later Cubism and Picasso’s works were all the rage. Renoir, though still painting in the last decade of the 19th century, was past his Impressionist prime by the 1890s. In terms of value for Renoir’s paintings, his mature work or paintings produced during the 1870s consistently bring higher prices than work produced at other times of his career.

Work by Renoir

In terms of value, works from an artist’s mature period or works that have a special background or story attached to them are often times those works which will enhance a collection in numerous ways. Works from Renoir’s mature period, such as this famous landscape, would bring more interest at an auction because of its exposure, exhibition record and history.